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Health And Family

US authorizes 'mix and match' COVID-19 vaccine boosters — regulator

Agence France-Presse
US authorizes 'mix and match' COVID-19 vaccine boosters â regulator
A sign is posted at a vaccination booster shot clinic on October 01, 2021 in San Rafael, California. Marin County opened its first COVID-19 booster shot clinic inside a former Victoria's Secret store at Northgate Mall. The clinic is giving priority to residents over 75 years old but is open to all ages that are eligible to receive the Pfizer booster.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON, United States — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday authorized using a so-called "mix and match" strategy for people who require a booster shot of a Covid vaccine after their primary series.

"The FDA has determined that the known and potential benefits of the use of a single heterologous booster dose outweigh the known and potential risks of their use in eligible populations," the agency said in a statement.

The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized in the United States. A single dose of any of them may now be used following completion of primary vaccination with a different Covid vaccine.

According to the new decision, people who received two Moderna shots initially and are 65 or older, over 18 and at high risk for Covid, or over 18 and have high occupational exposure, may now receive a booster.

All adults who received the one shot J&J vaccine more than two months ago are also eligible for a booster.

Previously, only immune compromised people or people who belonged to elderly or high risk groups and had received the Pfizer vaccine initially were eligible for a boost.

The data supporting the decisions come from emerging research reviewed by the FDA.

"Today's actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic," said acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock.

The statement also cautioned of highly rare side effects associated with the vaccines. 

The messenger RNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have been associated with increased risks of inflammatory heart conditions, myocarditis and pericarditis, especially in younger males.

The J&J vaccine has been linked to a serious and rare type of blood clot in combination with low blood platelets one or two weeks after administration. The risk is highest among females ages 18 through 49 years.

COVID-19 VACCINES UNITED STATES
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 26, 2021 - 8:06am

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

November 26, 2021 - 8:06am

Chile on Thursday announces it would start vaccinating children aged three and up against the coronavirus, after successfully innoculating around 90 percent of its initial target population.

Children under the new rollout will receive the Chinese CoronaVac shot already used for kids aged six to 15, the Public Health Institute says. 

For 16 to 18-year-olds, Chile uses the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. — AFP

November 25, 2021 - 3:09pm

COVID-19 vaccines reduce transmission of the dominant Delta variant by about 40%, the WHO says, warning that people were falling into a false sense of security concerning jabs.

The World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says many vaccinated people were wrongly thinking the jab meant they no longer needed to take any other precautions.

Fully-immunized people must stick with measures to avoid catching the virus and passing it on, Tedros insists, spelling out how the more contagious Delta meant the vaccines were not as effective against transmission. — AFP

November 25, 2021 - 1:23pm

Canada begins mmunizing children aged 5-11 against COVID-19, joining a handful of nations including Israel and the United States in offering shots to this age group.

At Montreal's convention center, a few dozen youngsters were among the first to receive the Pfizer doses authorized since last Friday for this age group.

To help ease their fears of needles, additional measures have been taken such posting stickers of unicorns or hockey players on partitions between nursing stations, longer appointments than for adults, and a dog to pet. — AFP

November 24, 2021 - 5:29pm

Leading Russian doctors on Wednesday invited celebrities and politicians with anti-vaccine views to visit COVID red zones in hospitals and see for themselves the effects of the pandemic.

In an open letter published by state news agency TASS, 11 doctors from several cities wrote to a dozen public figures who expressed anti-vaccine views to hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

Russia, one of the countries worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is struggling with widespread opposition to vaccination even though it has developed several homegrown jabs including Sputnik V.

Despite multiple pleas from President Vladimir Putin, only 37% of Russians are fully vaccinated and the country has seen more than 1,000 deaths a day in recent weeks.

In their letter, the doctors told several singers, actors, TV personalities and politicians who had expressed skepticism over vaccinations that they would take the time to show them around COVID treatment centers. — AFP 

November 24, 2021 - 7:14am

The United States is shipping another four million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam, the White House said Tuesday, bringing the total of US doses donated globally to nearly 270 million.

A senior administration official told AFP that 4,149,990 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are being sent, bringing the total delivered to Vietnam by the United States to 17,589,110 doses. Shipments began Tuesday.

Globally, there have now been 268,472,780 doses sent out to 110 countries, which the official, who asked not to be identified, said "is more than all countries combined have shared." — AFP

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